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Morton Arboretum help!

We are extremely interested in booking Morton Arboretum's Thornhill Education Center for an October Wedding. We wanted to keep it small (no more than 150 guests) so that we wouldn't break our budget. The venue rental fee is reasonable for us, but it seems that the catering costs is taking up most of our budget! Has anyone had their reception there? And how was the catering? What can we cut to keep within our budget? 

Budget: $20-25,000 
- $3500 for reception and ceremony rental
- $79 pp (minimum) x 150 guests = 11,850 + 21% tax/svc fee = $14,338.50
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$ 2,161.50-7,161.50 left for flowers, dress, dj, photo/vid, decor/flowers, etc.

Is that do-able?? Can we find cheap vendors for all the extraneous costs within what's left over in our budget?? We are willing to do a lot of DIY if need be too......HELP!

Re: Morton Arboretum help!

  • I think it's doable, but yeah, you're going to have cut some costs somewhere. The same thing happened to me and my fiance when we fell in love with our venue and they had a set catering list we haaaaad to choose from.

    To cut costs: Since I'm allergic to the majority of flowers, I am making my own flowers out of coffee filters. I only recommend this if you are crafty and love projects. It's a bit daunting, but I love this kind of stuff. If you are going to do the DIY route on some things, make sure you get ads from Michaels and/or JoAnn Fabrics because they typically have coupons that you can use to buy your materials.

    As for your dress, you can always try David's Bridal, look online on Craig's list or weddingbee. The same goes for any other item you may need like center pieces. 

    We got a great deal on our photography and deejay. They're called Cage And Aquarium and I cannot say enough good things about them. We haven't experienced the DJ half in person, but we've heard samples on their site and gone to some of the places in the city where they also DJ. Shelley, the main photographer and co-owner, is a complete godsend. She is amazing, especially with communication. I can't recommend them enough. http://www.cageandaquarium.com/home/index.php

    Always, always do your research. Have you and your fiance make a list of things that are important. Then figure out what isn't as important and eliminate or cut down on. Good luck!!
  • Do they  cater it or   can you bring breing your own? 
  • They have their own exclusive caterer unfortunately. 
  • We have the exact same budget and number of guests. We fell in love with the Arboretum and agreed cutting things else where was worth having it there. I got my dress at Davids for $350 on sale. It is definitely do-able. You just need to be more aware of other costs. Good luck!!
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